2 answers

How did you find your passion/major?

Asked College Station, Texas

Many students, like myself, go to college and wonder "is this really the right major for me?". One terrible fact is (if you are already in college) the longer you take to find what you actually want to major in, the more it costs to change it. So I would like to know, how did you find what really interests you? What are some tips you can give to someone trying to find their true passion?

#college #majors #major #field #psychology

2 answers

Linda Ann’s Answer

Updated

I found my major through two avenues. First, was this curiosity about how my dad and his sister, but 14 months apart in age could have such different personalities from each other. So that "burning question" in particular, and others like it obviously influenced the answers that I provided in an interest inventory test given in high school. That interest inventory test (the Kuder Preference Profile) said that my interests most clearly aligned with that of a psychologist. I didn't know any psychologists at the time. So, that's how I declared psychology as my major. I also had a keen interest in mathematics and had considered math as my major. When I learned, after taking my first psychology course, that I could combine these two interests in the sub-specialty of psychometrics, I was well on my way to a fruitful educational experience.

Linda Ann recommends the following next steps:

  • In addition to the suggestions already provided by Mr. Ken Simmons I would suggest taking introductory courses during your first year in college to see what especially piques your interests. If you have a "burning question" about life in general, that burning question could be a good start to deciding which major to pursue!
  • A discussion with a career counselor or guidance counselor might be useful. They might direct you to additional resources to help you to decide.
  • A significant number of college freshman change their college major at the conclusion of the freshman year. So, don't be discouraged if you are worried about the wrong choice.
  • If finances are an issue for you and your family, I would recommend attendance at a community college for the first two years following high school. Thus, if you change directions, the financial cost will be minimized! The only cost will be that of time. But it's not really a cost if you discover early on in your development that a certain career field is not really for you. You don't want to be a miserable 40 year old who sticks with an occupation just because it is now too late to change course (going back to school when you have a family, mortgage payments, car payments, etc., isn't so easy at this age; at the age of 21 or 22, it's much easier to pursue a new career)..
  • Keep your eyes and ears open during your educational experiences. ENJOY.

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Congratulations on being interested in finding the right career to follow.. It takes a special person to enter into a specific career field and meet the demands which that career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make one successful in that area. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow people doing what you might think that you want to do to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.  When I was doing college recruiting, I encountered too many students, who skipped these important steps, and ended up in a career/job for which they were ill suited.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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